Big Water~Good for Fish and Fishing

Three Flood Gates
Three Flood Gates

Flood Gates at Bull Shoals Arkansas

Three flood gates were open at Bull Shoals Dam yesterday afternoon at 1:00 P.M. producing and extra 2070 CFS or less than a unit of water.  Five flood gates at Norfork were open on the first with an extra 4420 CFS.  With this extra water at Bull Shoals the river level is barely over a full 8 units.  It is being done to evacuate excess water for this time of year in the lake.  This will be good for the river in that it will add dissolved oxygen DO to the water which will help the fish.  It will also cover some of the grassy areas which will push out cane worms which the fish will feed on.  Last year in april and again in may flood gates were open at B.S. Dam which covered these areas and pushed worms to the surface.  Fishing was super good on San Juan worms and the fish we were catching were regurgitating worms as they were gorged on them.  With the gates open and 7 units on as well I would imagine a few shad will also go through the turbines as well which will also add some food to the system for the fish.  Sow bugs also seem to like lots of water and will also do well with the flood gates open.  Last year when the water was shut off due to a hurricane passing through I walked some stretches of the water to find thousands of sow bugs had returned to the river.  We fished sow bugs pretty much for the rest of the year last year as they were again prolific. Big water like this is GOOD for our trout as it brings lots of food to them.  Fishing pressure is almost non existent at this time of year as well and this higher water will eliminate the bank and wade fisher which in my humble opinion will give the fish a break and allow them to grow and spawn.  The only real negative I see in this is if the corps cuts the water suddenly and strands fry and trout which is what happened last year.  I hope this is avoidable this year.  Opening of the flood gates is good for the river so don’t get discouraged.  The lake is dropping.  There will be plenty of water for the february shad kill ( looking for lake temps of 42 ) and spawning fish will simply move up the banks a little and continue what nature has intended for them.  Yes it could adversely affect redds already done but these fish have gone through this big water before and still managed to do their thing.  The opening of these gates and the big water it brings will only make fishing better and will make for even bigger fish next spring.  This guide is looking forward to the fishing next season.

One Reply to “Big Water~Good for Fish and Fishing”

  1. Nice write-up Jimmy. Interesting to see how the water levels really affect the aquatic life and change the conditions of their environment. Wish I could come down and play and see it first hand, but probably should finish up my papers this semester before I play. 😉

    Keep up the reports.

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